Translationese as Dissent: The use of translationese in Zhang Chengzhi’s History of the Soul and Yan Lianke’s The Four Books

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Abstract

This chapter explores the adoption of generic and stylistic borrowing from non-Chinese religious writings in two contemporary Chinese novels: Zhang Chengzhi’s 張承志 (1948–) Xilingshi 心靈史 (History of the Soul) published in 1991, and Yan Lianke’s 閻連科 (1958–) Sishu 四書 (The Four Books) published in 2011. I use the term “translationese” to describe the instances of borrowing in these two novels. In Translation Studies, “translationese” often refers to the elements in a text showing influence of the foreign language that it is translated from, if the text in question is a translation; alternatively, it may refer to the employment of a language style in an original text showing heavy lexical or syntactic influences of a foreign language. In such a case, the presence of that foreign language is already familiar in the society to which the text in question belongs. By deploying the idea of “translationese” to refer also to the stylistic and generic borrowing in these two novels, the chapter refocuses the study of “translationese” from the linguistic details to the stylistic and generic effects of these details, and extends the referential capacity of the term beyond its usual lexical and syntactic pertinence to include structural borrowing on the macro-textual level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranslating Chinese Art and Modern Literature
EditorsYifeng Sun, Chris Song
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Chapter9
Pages172-185
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351001243
ISBN (Print)9781138549203, 9781138549210
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2019

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